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No Network DVR

multichannel-ndvr.jpgThanks to Dave Z. for finding the late-night article in Multichannel News about a District Court’s decision to rule against Cablevision in its bid to deploy a network-based DVR service. Sued by several studios and networks, Cablevision believes copyright law is on its side because network DVR would work very similarly to DVRs installed in individual homes.

Apparently the court doesn’t agree.

With all the hoopla over Internet video and the copyright disaster that is YouTube/Viacom, I find it hard to see network DVR as such a big deal anymore. There’s going to continue to be a push-pull dynamic in whether consumers want their digital content stored locally or on remote servers. But storing remotely doesn’t change a person’s ability to share content (illegally) and therefore seems like a small skirmish in the ongoing copyright war. Opponents argue that network DVR will undermine the licensing deals that VOD vendors and download service companies have had to negotiate. But set-top storage is going to continue to go up, and the functionality of digital recording is the same no matter where the content is stored.

Meanwhile, Time Warner very smartly had taken a compromise approach with its Start Over technology. (Motorola calls the technology Program Restart) From a business perspective, Time Warner really covered all the bases with that deployment.